Before up themes of historical traditions and

April 5, 2019 General Studies

Before the narrator introduces the particular characters of Hester, Dimmesdale, and Chillingworth, he grounds their narrative with commentaries about the Puritan colony’s past. He describes the novel’s first specific setting (the prison) with a focus on its historical presence in the colony, as an early and necessary feature of this settlement. The narrator thus opens up themes of historical traditions and social functions that will resonate throughout the novel. Sin (which leads to punishment and, eventually, death) also appears as an inevitable aspect of human life, a product of mere human existence as well as human passion. Even in a supposed utopia, it’s assumed that sin will always be present—thus the necessity for a prison and a cemetery.


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